iGot an iPad

Posted: 18th December 2010 by Jacky Yong in Computers
Tags: ,

WHOOWEEE!!!! I can now claim to be ahead of most of my friends here when it comes to technology! I just got myself an Apple iPad 2 weeks ago!

It was really an easy decision, Apple came out with Malaysia’s own iPad range that surprised everyone by being a lot cheaper than iPads brought in from overseas! That really hurt a lot of early adopters who paid more than RM3000 for their machines!

I got the iPad 32 GB wifi version, without the 3G. The reason why I got the wifi version was because I do not foresee myself surfing the internet wherever I go. I already have a wifi at home, so I’ll just surf at home, or when there is wifi available. If ever in the future I have a need to access to the internet wherever I may be, I’ll just subscribe to one of those packages with mifi modems. And why 32 GB? Because it’s more than16 GB, and it’s affordable at less than RM2000. (RM1849 to be exact, not including the screen protector and the cover)

mePad

mePad, it's relative size compared to my Microsoft PC. You can see the camera connection kit at the background

So how does it feel like in operation? Those who are already familiar with the iPhones will find themselves perfectly at ease using this machine. The touch screen is sensitive to the slightest swipe and touch. I would have been afraid to dent it by pressing it too hard at the screen (like the LG K900 phone I used to review), but the iPad felt secure and tough. The screen feels solid and looks like it can take a beating before falling apart. In fact, my colleague dropped it on a rock once, facing down! It survived the fall without a scratch on its screen. But then again it was protected with a screen protector. It really shows how wonderfully solid this piece of tablet is.

Apple’s app store has always been teeming with activities. There are a lot of free stuffs to be downloaded. But that’s not all, the magic comes when you jailbreak this baby! Jailbreaking is actually legal in US, so I do not see a reason why I shouldn’t do it. Besides it also unlocks features that ol’ Steve chooses to hide, like attaching a secondary flash drive or a USB keyboard via the camera connection kit, which I bought separately at RM99. Sure, it voids the warranty, but nothing stops you from connecting it back to iTunes and installing the non-jailbroken OS right? Jailbroken iPads also allows you to install certain apps which would otherwise be illegal; read: cracked softwares. And boy do they have a lot of them! I’m really surprised, there are more apps in these pirated Apple world than there is in Microsoft’s world! And the list keeps on growing, thanks to a thriving group of hackers. I salute you!

At this point of writing, the latest OS is 4.2.1, and it can already be jailbroken via redsn0w. Unfortunately it is a tethered jailbreak, meaning that for some reason that you restart the iPad, or you lose power, you MUST jailbreak it again via the USB cable attached to the computer. I can live with that. The process of jailbreaking itself can be tedious. Just remember to backup your iPad before attempting anything of this sort. I’m sure that you can find the detailed process from Google, but I just want to add these few pointers:

  1. If for some reason you failed while JB-ing half-way, you can always restore it back to the unJailbroken state and start again. Therefore it helps if you have no apps and no music installed; backing up and restoring will otherwise take a long time. Trust me, I’ve done it a couple of times 🙁
  2. For some reason, the first JB will always fail to properly install Cydia (you can tell by the blank white icon representing the Cydia app). This is, curiously enough, normal! You must do a second round of JB, this time using tethered boot only. Then your Cydia icon should appear correctly.
  3. Open Cydia. See the bottom of Cydia, click on the globe icon “Sources”, click “Edit”, “Add” and enter “cydia.hackulo.us”. It will complain that it is a blocked third party site or some shit. Just ignore it, that’s the whole point of adding this in the first place!
  4. Search for an app called “Installous” from Cydia. Install it! Start Installous and go crazy!

I’m not condoning software piracy via jailbreaking, the developers still need to earn money for developing their great app right? But there is nothing stopping us from err….. trying it out before we buy it right? ……… Right?

The girls playing with the iPad

The girls playing with the iPad. Notice that it captures the moment when the the pinch and zoom thing works its magic

The iPad is a great tool for consuming media. But it is lousy in creating media, even medias as simple as a word document. That is its only weakness I’m afraid. But use it with apps like DocsToGo and you’ll do wonders with it! You’ve got to love its instant-on feature, so sometimes when I really want to check something online, I find myself going to the iPad. It’s just so much easier and faster to use it, instead of waiting for the Windows PC to boot up.

The kids love it too! Probably because of its mouseless feature, they can quite easily pick up the interface. Nowadays with almost everything featuring touch screens, I wouldn’t be surprised if our future generation does not even know how to use the mouse!

And oh one more thing, I contacted LHDN, and they did mention that as long as the iPad does not feature any phone features, it is considered a personal computer. Computer rebate for me next year! YAY!!

  1. CK says:

    I brought mine at USA, 32GB wifi version same like yours.
    Are you really sure can claim computer rebate?
    Who you contact in LHDN, any email?
    Because I also wrote email to them but no reply…
    Thanks.

  2. Jacky Yong says:

    Hi CK,

    I’m quite sure that I can claim for computer tax rebate from this. I was in an email conversation exchange with their Call Centre email. This is a rough excerpt from the conversation:

    Me : Is an iPad considered a computer? I would like to claim for computer purchase tax rebate.

    LHDN : Ask yourself, does the iPad has
    A : computer only features?
    – OR –
    B : handphones in addition to computer functions?
    If the answer is A, then it is considered a computer and thus can be considered a computer under the computer purchase rebate claim.